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Wine of the Week for week ending 20 January 2002
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Montana Reserve BF Marlborough Chardonnay 2000
Marlborough, New Zealand

After two weeks away on a much deserved holiday, the website has been somewhat neglected. And being on a car rally for the MG Car Club's 50th Anniversary Rally, the wine tasting was also somewhat neglected - although I did manage to squeeze in a winery here and there.

But today it was the trip home - the final leg of a 3500 kilometre journey that saw us zigzag across two islands and brave stormy straits.

Heading back into the big smoke - and the traffic - we picked up some of the new season's sweet corn from a roadside stall. Corn grows simply everywhere - places where grapes will never grow. In the south the crops were lush as the cobs plumped up for harvest some time away but here in the warmer climate of the Auckland region the cobs from the more early ripening local cornyards are ready.

I cooked the whole cobs in the microwave with their natural leaf wrappers on, just as purchased. 4 minutes a piece, turning after half the cooking time. This method steams the vegetable and the kernels are sweet and juicy. Peel off the wrappers and discard the with the silk, plate the cobs, smother with butter and season with salt and pepper.

What better to accompany this summer favourite with than a buttery chardonnay?

Searching my wine rack I came across the Montana Reserve Barrique Fermented Marlborough Chardonnay from the vintage of 2000.

It's definitely chardonnay as everybody knows and most love - plenty of oak, sweet peachy fruit, a hint of yellow plum, a buttery richness and a rich full-bodied dry finish with leesy, mealy flavours. It definitely hit the spot and was great with the corn.

The Montana Reserve Barrique Fermented Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 has received plenty of accolades to date and I can see why. It's easy drinking, it's a good price and there's plenty of it.

It's often on special at the supermarket but when it is not, support your local wine shop. Wherever you buy, expect to pay no more than NZ$19.95.

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